The Role of Brand Protection

Brand protection professionals must include programs targeting increased Internet risks in their overall strategy


As business has moved online, so have the counterfeiters and pirates. The result is increased risk to the supply chain and product integrity as well as risks to revenue. In the digital age, every brand protection professional needs to be cognizant about the effect of the Internet on their business.

Emerging online threats have changed the face of brand protection strategies. The efforts spent securing product integrity, the supply chain and customers can be undercut by a single criminal with a website. To be complete, any program must include both online and physical components that work in concert to address Internet-borne risks. Knowing where to start and how to prioritize your efforts are essential components for success.

“Counterfeit products and pirated products online are approximately a $350 billion market.”

Experienced brand protection professionals know the effects of counterfeit and pirated product in the physical world. Customer service costs mount from increased returns, resulting in dissatisfied customers and channel partners.  Increased corporate exposure leads to liability from counterfeits. The Internet introduces a host of new distribution channels for counterfeiters from sales of large quantities of bulk goods on business-to-business exchanges to individual sales to consumers on eCommerce and auction sites.

To drive traffic to these channels, Internet counterfeiters invest in advertising and promotional campaigns in popular consumer venues such as search engines, social media and web sites. As a result, fraudsters siphon away the online traffic that seeks the brand, negatively impacting marketing investments, while introducing yet more product liability risks and increasing customer service costs.

Effective brand protection strategies for the Internet require attacking the counterfeiter’s distribution and promotion channels. The challenge is to disrupt all points in the online supply and demand chain, from the manufacturing source to the consumer by using effective countermeasures and appropriate enforcement. Brand protection experts have an expanded role to play in this complex ecosystem of infringement to safeguard the brand and revenues.

Key brand protection team concerns

Brand Protection is charged with securing brand integrity, protecting customers, and policing the supply chain—online and offline. Successful online strategies will:

  • Defeat online counterfeiters with a two-pronged strategy by targeting distribution as well as promotional channels. Unlike the physical world, effective strategies to shutdown online counterfeiters must address the criminals as they manufacture and distribute their fake goods as well as how they market them.

  • Identify and secure vulnerabilities in the online supply chain. Counterfeiters know that there is a huge opportunity in business-to-business exchanges and trade-boards where goods are sold in large quantities. Finding online perpetrators will often yield intelligence that leads to prolific counterfeiters in the physical world as well, including factories pumping out fakes.

  • Demonstrate ROI. Brand Protection departments must prove to the corporation that they have positive impact on the bottom line. Since the digital world is inherently measurable, the effects of online brand protection programs can be quantified in a variety of ways, helping to justify the costs of physical brand protection efforts, too.

How MarkMonitor can help

MarkMonitor protects the world’s leading brands, including more than half the Fortune 100.  Brand Protection professionals depend on MarkMonitor to help them:

  • detect the widest range of abuses by monitoring more online data sources

  • protect revenues and profits by shutting down sites selling potential counterfeit or pirated goods

  • prevent brand reputation erosion so customers enjoy an authentic brand experience and quality products

  • pinpoint and prioritize abuse through advanced analytics and patented detection technology

  • enable greater brand protection impact with less effort

  • deliver quick results with minimum investment of resources

  • safeguard marketing investments—while optimizing return on ad spend and other outlays

MarkMonitor saw the growing need for protecting brands online more than 10 years ago and was the first global brand protection provider. With the world’s leading brands relying on us to protect their revenue and reputations in the digital world, we have developed powerful insights and unrivaled methodologies to combat sophisticated, evolving online threats.  Our clients depend upon our unique combination of industry-leading expertise, advanced technologies and extensive industry relationships to preserve customer trust, marketing investments and revenue.

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